Vosges Caramel Toffee Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix
Do you prefer fudgy brownies or cake-like brownies? This Caramel Toffee Brownie Mix seeks to unite the great brownie divide by arriving at the perfect in-between. 62% cacao dark chocolate chunks, just the right amount of French sea salt and all natural ingredients set these brownies apart from the rest. Caramel Toffee is added at the last step in the baking process and melts into the dark chocolate brownie, adding a unique Vosges Haut-Chocolat touch.
Each box yields 16 (2″ square) brownies.
Includes: Recipe, brownie mix with dark chocolate chunks, toffee & sugar
You will need: Eggs, butter & vanilla extract
Happy National Martini Day!
For a lover of Mixology, the Martini still has a few variations to make it ‘fun’ but what we are really talking about here is a combination of good gin and good vermouth, stirred with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. There are a slew of drinks that have nothing to do with these ingredients, but share a common glass, as well as the suffix ‘tini’ – and they can be a lot of fun, but today, let’s talk about the Martini that has been giving stage actors something to hold for over a hundred years.
Gin is a clear spirit which derives its main flavoring from juniper berries, along with a shopping list of various botanicals, roots, and citrus. A young person, first embarking on the adventure of developing a palate for spirits, often has an unpleasant impression of gin that leaves a prolonged disregard for the category as a whole. This initial taste usually occurs when raiding the liquor cabinet of the absent parents of a friend – and usually ends poorly. Let’s try to forget about that experience, and give gin another chance with the cocktail that elevates the spirit.
Vermouth is an aromatized, fortified wine that has been flavored with spices, botanicals, and citrus. Originally a medicinal libation, vermouth acts as good stock when cooking – it balances the alcohol in a cocktail and rounds out the level of acidity. When we are talking Martini, we are talking dry, white vermouth from Italy or France. It is important to use fresh vermouth, to chill your opened bottles, and to replace them if they have been open for longer than you recall (or since last year’s holiday party).
Olives or lemon peel are the traditional Martini garnish. The green olive is really where we should focus our attention; it provides salty, bitter sourness and a bit of vegetal fat. Stuffed olives, filled with blue cheese, anchovies, pickled peppers are natural choices. You are adding a level of flavor that plays off of the cocktail and offers interesting taste variation on your palate as you consume the ice cold gin. If you don’t care for olive, a thin surf-board shaped slice of lemon peel will offer a freshness that is sure to please the palate.
Glassware is somewhat important – you need a V-shaped glass to hold the olives elegantly, and the glass shouldn’t be so large that you are consuming six ounces of gin per drink. You can also enjoy your Martini on the rocks, in a smallish well-weighted glass filled with fresh ice.
Martinis are meant to be enjoyed slowly, while chatting or conversing. Mixing perfect Martinis for your friends is still an intimate and appreciated skill that you should practice. Mixing – not shaking. Fill a cocktail glass with ice and a splash of water and let chill. In a mixing glass, measure out 4 parts gin and 1 part vermouth. Add plenty of fresh ice and stir for thirty to forty-five seconds. You are chilling the ingredients and diluting the cocktail. You can’t really over-chill the drink, but you can over-dilute it so pay attention during the time that the spirits are in contact with the ice. Empty the chilled cocktail glass of its ice-bath and strain the freshly mixed cocktail into the perfectly chilled glass. Skewer three olives and drop it into the glass.
Our Favorite Recipe
2 oz Martin Miller’s Gin
½ oz Noilly Prat Original Dry
Pimento stuffed Green Olives
Chill a cocktail glass. In a mixing glass, combine gin and vermouth. Add ice, and stir for 30-45 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with skewered olives.
Now, That’s Refreshing!
In a move of genius, the folks at Cheribundi decided to infuse fresh brewed tea with just-pressed tart cherries to create a beverage that is truly refreshing. Cheribundi’s Tea Refresh comes in black, green, jasmine, and rooibos tea, all infused with the bright taste of tart cherries (healthful phytonutrients and anthocyanins included!).Whichever flavor you choose, Cheribundi Tea Refresh is the perfect way to refresh your day!
Vermont Creamery Cremont
This mixed-milk cheese is an aged, soft cheese, perfect for the warm summer months. It is a combination of local, fresh cow’s milk, goat’s milk, and Vermont cream. The texture is smooth and creamy, with a brie-like softness. It has a great, fresh goat flavor with the nice, smooth texture of a cow’s milk. Cremont is delicious on a baguette or neutral cracker, topped with fresh fruit or preserve spread. It makes for a fantastic addition to any summer bbq or social gathering. Check out their website for some great pairing and cheeseboard tips.
Looking to try a new red? Stop by Plum Market in Bloomfield Twp. and pick up one of our favorite Spanish reds. We currently have Bodegas Alejandro Fernandez Tinto Pesquera Crianza 2008 | Plum Price: $24.97. Pesquera comes from the Ribera del Duero region of Spain and is comprised of 100% Tempranillo from both benchland and high elevation vineyards.
It’s aged in a combination of both French and American oak and has notes of raspberry, strawberry, soy, and baking spices with a gentle touch of vanilla. It’s medium to full-bodied with moderate tannins and potential to age for another 10 years or so. Try it with a roasted leg of lamb with a pomegranate molasses rub.
We’re Going on a Picnic, and I’m Taking…
April 23rd is National Picnic Day! While the weather is still hit or miss, we want to make sure you’re ready when the sun does comes out so you can spend some time with loved ones at your favorite outdoor spot. Tell us about your favorite picnic food creations and be entered to win the following picnic supplies:
Picnic Day Giveaway (value $150) includes:
5 Sistema Containers
2 Preserve Containers
World Centric Cups, Cutlery, and Plates
Matt’s Organic Lemonade
AND a $50 Gift Card to purchase your fave picnic foods!
Looking for more ideas for perfect picnic foods? Check out our Picnic Pinterest Board!
Never, Ever Lamb
Lamb can be a welcome change of pace from beef or pork, and it pairs well with so many flavors, making it fun to cook and even more fun to eat! Looking for the right cut and superior quality of lamb for your spring recipes? Plum Market is very excited to feature our favorite: Mountain State Rosen (MSR), coming to you fresh from our butcher cases.
We love MSR and here’s why:
MSR lamb is 100% born and raised in the US by families of ranchers and growers who are dedicated to their land, their animals, and their trade. The lamb comes from MSR’s own co-op family of ranchers, primarily in the Western States.
Mountain States Rosen was the first company to offer an All Natural, Never Ever lamb program, ensuring the animals never receive antibiotics or added hormones. Their vertical integration ensures “best in class” products from the feed, to processing, and delivery.
Mountain States Rosen is committed to producing the highest quality lamb in a responsible manner, focusing on 5 pillars of sustainability: Animal Care-in-Production, Environmental Quality, Economic Viability, Social Viability, and Community Support. All of these standards combine to help make Mountain States Rosen producers of the highest quality lamb.
Now, how to cook it…
We’ve scoured the World (wide web) to find some of the tastiest lamb recipes around, so check out these, and some other great recipes for Spring on our Pinterest board!
Spring [Beer] is Finally Here!
It may not feel like it now, but it’s Spring, and warm weather is just around the corner! What does that mean for beer drinkers? It means everyone’s favorite, fruity summer ale is back! Our shelves are stocked with Bell’s Oberon. Enjoy this seasonal wheat beer with one of our many exotic selections of citrus fruit or some succulent, red raspberries for a perfect warm weather snack.
Spring beers have something to offer for everyone. So what else is our beer team drinking this season? They’ve come up with a couple of their favorite craft selections for you…
Experience one of Grand Rapid’s finest brews, Founders All Day IPA. It’s sharp hop profile, light body, and pleasantly crisp, bitter finish is perfect for an afternoon ball game or BBQ. Like Oberon and All Day IPA? How about Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’? This unique California beer flaunts a silky body, strong hoppiness and a complex wheat flavor that is sure to help you relax after some springtime gardening or mowing the lawn on a sunny afternoon.
What’s In the Tin?
If you are a lover of tinned fish, Cole’s Brand is a must try. And if you’re not a fan of tinned fish, put your adventure pants on and try some! The smoked rainbow trout is lightly smoky with a hint of nuttiness and packed in olive oil for a velvety smooth texture. You will be amazed at the flavor and quality of this often-mocked pantry staple. They are delicious served on a piece of toasted bread or cracker with avocado and lemon juice or eaten straight from the tin. They offer varieties of wild mackerel and sardines as well, all of which are equally delicious.
April is Michigan Wine Month! Don’t miss the Michigan Wine Showcase; in the meantime here’s a handful of Michigan wines that are dependably excellent, vintage after vintage! Their wineries and winemakers have set a standard that makes us proud.
L. Mawby Blanc de Blancs, Leelanau Peninsula
Sleek, dry sparkling wines from northern Michigan’s master of bubbles, Larry Mawby. Try using it instead of a French Blanc de Blancs Champagne, and look to be happily surprised!
Bel Lago Auxerrois, Leelanau Peninsula
(Pronounced “oh-zair-rah”) A sophisticated Chardonnay alternative, made from a lesser known European white varietal. Complex and dry.
Left Foot Charley Pinot Blanc, Old Mission Peninsula
Left Foot Charley takes the modest Pinot Blanc grape to an artistic level! Bryan Ulbrich is the irrepressible owner-winemaker – pick up any of of his bottlings and look to be fulfilled. And check out his whimsical website!
Chateau Fontaine Pinot Gris, Leelanau Peninsula
Silky smooth dry white wine – it’ll make you stop buying Italian Pinot Grigio! Chateau Fontaine’s wines have gotten terrific critical acclaim within the past couple of years. Owners Dan and Lucie Matthies are the nicest people, you can’t help but celebrate their success.
Chateau Grand Traverse Gamay Noir, Old Mission Peninsula
Softly dry, lighter-bodied and easy drinking, an excellent Pinot Noir alternative! Gamay is the red grape in France’s Beaujolais region.
Black Star Farms “Leorie Vineyard”, Old Mission Peninsula
A Merlot-Cabernet Franc blend, one of the most impressive red wines that Michigan makes. Rich, full-flavored and age-worthy. From a very special vineyard site on Old Mission, an amphitheater that protects the vines from the northern elements.
-Contributed by Madeline Triffon #madpicks